November 18, 2014 at 12:49 am #550131
Who is the greatest late-night talk show host currently on TV at the moment?November 18, 2014 at 1:04 am #550133
For me, its Craig Ferguson. I love talk shows, but I grew so tired of the same formula, and when I found out that many of them are pre-written and rehearsed (which I discovered in Boomer’s wonderful interview with David Steinberg), I lost a little faith in the format. Then along came Craig Ferguson into my life – I knew him before that, mostly from his movies and some little clips of his silliness. But then I noticed how his show is almost entirely improvised from beginning to end, I grew to love him. Craig has a unique ability to really bring out the best in his guests. He doesn’t act like his guests are the most amazing creatures to walk the Earth, and his open disdain for “famous” people like Kim Kardashian, and his willingness to invite people like Desmond Tutu, Stephen Fry and the likes to his show make it the most intelligent talk show on TV. He also hardly ever lets the guests plug their projects, rather talking about more obscure and odd things. It is endearing, informal and wonderful.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Seth Meyers is the worst. He isn’t funny, he isn’t charming and he certainly isn’t a good interviewer. He was a poor choice for the Late Night brand, and I hope he doesn’t last too long, because someone else needs that spot who is actually apt at being a late night host.November 18, 2014 at 5:41 am #550134
For questions like these, I always like to throw a mention to Graham Norton, who does a great job of making things loose and fun for his guests, all the while engaging them with questions that are both reverent and snappy. He’s always very playful in that way. Plus, it really helps that he has ALL of his guests come out to be interviewed at once, so that a rapport can usually develop between those getting interviewed. And few gags are as consistently hilarious as his bit with the Red Chair.November 18, 2014 at 8:42 am #550135
I love different parts of many shows, with none being the absolute best:
I think John Stewart does the best monologue, rivalled only by John Oliver’s new show.
Graham Norton has the best interview format by far, which totally brings out the best in his guests.
I like the running bits that Jimmy Fallon does, like Thank You Notes, Hashtags, Pros and Cons, and the games like Lip Sync Battle or Lip Flip are fun too
I think Craig Ferguson has the funniest show style, with his improvisation and absolutely basic set and puppet sidekicks
Long story short, I can’t really pick just one, so I’m glad I don’t have to (even though I hate that Craig Ferguson isn’t going to stay around much longer)
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Jimmy Fallon. He is hilarious, he is a great interviewer, and he brings the variety to the variety show. We had such a long standing with Leno and Letterman and even Kimmel until recently that they show up, say a few jokes, sit down, run a pretaped bit or say something witty to their sidekick, interview guests, bring out a singer/comic, good night. Jimmy does bits, he plays games, he sings songs, he gets the guests to join in, and he interacts with his audience rather than just pointing someone out and making them a joke. No he goes up into the crowd gets them involved. He will last longer than Carson, Leno, or Letterman because he always keeps his show fresh. Recently, I have enjoyed Craig alot more for that odd style he brings to his show when interviewing. I love Conan as well because he makes fun of anything and everything including his performance or the show’s writing performance. I love Bill Maher too he really makes political talk interesting and not so bland and boring like a FOX News, MSNBC, or CNN show. He also doesn’t make it a joke the whole time like Colbert and Stewart and that’s why I only watch them for the interview. Kimmel is just uniteresting. He can be funny (like his fued with Matt Damon) but he just is there for me. And Seth is just not good. He was good on SNL but interviews are just not his thing and especially monolouges. It’s really sad to watch to because he just isn’t doing that well. I hope NBC does something with that mess.
Looking to the future, I think James Corden will bring that appeal Craig and even Graham Norton (who I just recently started watching) so I am interested in seeing his show. I hope he crushs Seth in ratings. I also think Colbert will do a great job with the Late Show and feel like he will have that Fallon appeal of the variety show. I think the whole character thing really has held Colbert back.November 20, 2014 at 9:32 am #550137
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My brain says Fallon but my gut says Letterman so I went with DaveNovember 23, 2014 at 1:20 am #550139
The problem with Jimmy Fallon, and I’m in the minority here, is that he is false. When he was on Late Night, you could see he was trying – he was just this fun guy with a talk show having some good fun. As soon as he got the Tonight Show, everything changed. He still had the persona of being this humble, sweet fun guy, but you can see the wheels turning. Absolutely every aspect of his show is rehearsed – monologue, interactions with Higgins, games (including winners), interviews – they are all 100% scripted and practiced. It may be fun, but it is insincere. Fallon also makes it seem like every guest is the greatest guest of all time. He inherited that terrible trait from Leno. Letterman NEVER did that. Just watch his interviews with people like Paris Hilton – if he has no interest in you, or finds you irritating, he makes it very clear. Ferguson is the same – his show is 90% improvised, and thus he brings a sincerity and genuine interest to his guests.
I dunno – I only watch Fallon when he has a guest that interests me. I never watch the show for Fallon himself – I don’t dislike him, but he is just a pandering, rehearsed comedian. I would watch Craig Ferguson interview a sock because he is a very funny, genuine man, or Letterman, because he has been in this business long enough to stop pandering to every single guest. I would much rather watch Craig Ferguson or David Letterman, but the saddest part is they will be gone soon, but hopefully Stephen Colbert and James Corden can be suitable adversaries to Jimmy Fallon and the very bad Seth MeyersNovember 23, 2014 at 3:53 am #550140
No, I agree. Fallon is a wonderful showman, and I love watching him for his games with the stars. However, I don’t think you’re in too much of minority in saying that he is pretty average at interviews. He’s always submissive in how he interacts with his guests. He rarely ever holds conversations. He feels that he has to show reverence to everyone, so he does his best to make them feel supported and comfortable, rather than engaged. Carson could show respect to his guests, but he would always ask pointed questions to even the grandest of Hollywood legends, so he always felt like he was at least on their level. Ferguson and Norton are a lot better at that playfulness, as is Letterman when he wants to be.
That said, I do like Fallon a lot, and I’m grateful that he’s doing so much more with The Tonight Show than Leno ever did.